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Hadlakas Neiros 21 – Potential Concerns of Kibui (Extinguishing) (Klal 5 Siman 22) Erev Shabbos – S0148

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D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
Hadlakas Neiros 21 - Potential Concerns of Kibui (Extinguishing) (Klal 5 Siman 22) Erev Shabbos - S0148
We are continuing in siman 21, where we learned that one needs to light the majority of the available wick. This is known as lighting rov hayotzei, the majority of the wick which protrudes above the oil. This halacha applies to Chanukah as well. When one lights the neiros on Chanukah, they should not move the shamash from the candle until they have lit the majority of the wick. One should be careful for all of the neiros, and certainly for the first ner.  Regarding haneiros halalu, although there are different opinions, the Mishnah Berurah holds that one should begin haneiros halalu after one has completed lighting the first ner. The first ner is the basic mitzvah of hadlakas neiros Chanukah, and those which follow are a hiddur. Thus, one cannot begin haneiros halalu until they have finished lighting the first candle, for at that point they have completed the object of their bracha. One should be careful to note that the definition of Chazal of hadlakah is rov hayotzei. The Chayei Adam adds that rov hayotzei applies to wicks embedded in a candle as well (such as in a wax candle).   The Chayei Adam writes that it is proper for the husband to pre-light the neiros, as we learned (S0147). It would appear that the Chayei Adam holds that once one pre-lights the neiros, if they pre-light rov hayotzei of the wick, they do not have to be careful about it when they make the bracha. Rov hayotzei guarantees that the ner will light well; by pre-lighting the neiros, it would appear to accomplish the same thing. Alternatively, it could be that the Chayei Adam means that the wife must light the rov hayotzei of whatever the husband did not light when he pre-lit the wicks. It is not clear to Rabbi Reingold which understanding of the Chayei Adam is correct.    In siman 22, the Chayei Adam discusses placing a vessel around the leichter to catch the sparks which may emanate from the neiros. It is not a problem to place an empty vessel to catch the sparks. However, if one wishes to place a vessel filled with water to extinguish the sparks, it is a problem. Although placing the vessel before Shabbos is not inherently an issue of extinguishing, it is assur miderabanan, because we are concerned that a person may pick up the bowl to actively catch the sparks, which would be an act of extinguishing and assur mideoraysa.  The Chayei Adam discusses whether the vessel becomes a bosis. An item which is designated for muktzah items for the duration of bein hashmashos remains muktzah for the duration of Shabbos. Since this vessel was designated for a muktzah item (sparks), it should remain muktzah for the rest of Shabbos. However, the Chayei Adam writes that it is not muktzah, because the sparks are considered not to have any substance, so it does not generate a halachic status on the vessel. Therefore, one may move the vessel as they wish.   The Chayei Adam discusses whether one can place water on the bottom of their oil containers in order to raise up the oil and extinguish the fire once the oil is finished. The Chayei Adam writes that it is muttar, because the purpose is not to extinguish the fire but to raise the oil up in order for the flame to light properly.   The next series, on the halachos of kiddush and the seudah, is available for sponsorship. Please contact Rabbi Reingold for further information.   Summary
  • The definition of hadlakah is lighting rov hayotzei, so one should try to light from the base of the wick, so that the entire available wick catches on fire and not just the top of the wick.
  • One should not continue on to lighting the next wick until the majority of the wick is lit.
  • The halacha of rov hayotzei applies to Chanukah as well, and one should not begin haneiros halalu until lighting rov hayotzei of the first candle. 
  • One may place an empty vessel around a leichter to catch sparks, but cannot put water in the vessel. The vessel does not become a bosis.
  • One may place water on the bottom of their oil cups in order to raise the oil to the wick.

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